(Yesterday, we were in San Gimignano)
May 29th, 2009
We found La Magnolia, our bed and breakfast, by sheer trial and error.
It was a converted apartment in a modern 350 year old building. The ownership had passed generations, dating back to the time Bernini was working in the Vatican, and many of the residents could trace their family trees to names well known in a different era. The room was compact, yet sufficient. We checked in and went back to the car parked outside to get our luggage in.
We saw four five people huddled near our car. Every successful trip, they say, needs a bummer.
Here was ours.
A Fiat Punto had brushed passed our car leaving behind a mercilessly scratched left fender and broken headlight. My heart sank. But only for a second. A nearby barber had meticulously taken down the number of the car. A well dressed lady confidently told us what had happened. A man of military bearing pulled out his phono and called the local precinct – who got mad and asked him not to disturb them with such frivolities. The well dressed lady agreed to walk us to the police station and sign as a witness.
I believe, once you are travelling, everything is part of the fun. We followed the lady. She happened to be a resident of the buildings we were staying in. We crossed several cobbled, well conserved courtyards full of playing children. She pointed out several landmarks, historical buildings, told many anecdotes. Stuff that you would find in no tourist book, stuff that only comes by word of mouth. She told us her story and then her neighbor’s.
The walk, her company and her stories was the takeaway of the evening. The policei, amidst many shrugs, told us that they can’t do much. They asked us to go to the rental car company and explain.
“They will understand”, they said.
(Read on: Tomorrow we start the day with Piazza Anfitheatro)